Joyless, “Tease for Toxicology’s Sake”

Friday, Jan 23, 2015

Friday morning: I worry about my autopsy. What it might reveal, I mean. Certainly it wouldn’t state that I was the world’s most premier drug addict, though I’d still qualify for an “average” rank. Would there pity for the fact that I’ve coughed my spine into a question-mark? Speculation for the divots in my brain, the pain(s) I might’ve endured?

The human interest part aside (and no, everything would be routine and thus emotionless), the condition of the ol’ carcass is part of the reason that I’m sure anyone tries to change. The way the body feels contrary to wellness is a powerful motivational tool and this morning brought on some particularly rough backaches.

I didn’t do well last night. I’ve managed to maintain my no cigarettes, no alcohol beat, but I’m losing the fight against everything else. It could be argued I’m not even fighting some of these things. I’ve gained five pounds since I quit smoking, that’s to be expected, but it’s been a little over a week! If that trend continues…

The end of January nears. I am so happy the holidays are over, however, I am still eating holiday food – the excessively fatty, carby, sweet stuff that makes the get-togethers so magical. There’s little of it left, but it’s just lingering proof of the store that came before. Shooting for change so quickly after the holidays is rougher, too, I think, since there’s more than a month’s worth of “cheer” to encourage bad habits.

Seems like bad habits form in days while the good ones can take a month or two… But then, it’s that same struggle of one’s mind versus the brain.

What’s the best way to combat that? “Routine” I would imagine is the cold, hard answer. And of course, the will to do it until it is habit.

It wasn’t a “good” day at work last night. There weren’t any real troubles, but, I mean, the players there are just idiots. I belong there, believe me, but there is a marked difference in my idiocy. I just don’t want to believe that everyone is a cheat and a liar, but that’s the bleak world I live in, without the darker veil of pessimism that I also wear.

Through it all, there was almost no downtime to consider smoking or drinking, so the night passed without incident in that regard. I found myself home, wiped out. In the quiet, the frustration crept in and even petting the cat couldn’t quell it fast enough. My mind only dwelled on the negative – I lost five bucks, something simple, but there’s another issue of payroll transfer within the company, and I have another (estimated) $850 plus whatever today’s check is inside that account, which is due to close today, Friday. So, until I get some new checks, that money means nothing, so five bucks woulda been nice for groceries or something.

I did an amazing amount of writing yesterday and that pumped me up positively. It’s nice to get “wholesome” stimulation for a change and it’s nice to overcome that feeling that I need a cigarette in my mouth and smoke in my eyes to type anything at all. But even with all that I did write, it wasn’t everything I wanted to say, I felt like there was more, but with no energy after work, I couldn’t even bring myself to look at the computer.

Which is nice, that meant no internet or video games, but I did watch nature documentaries. Although, that’s a loose genre now, too. Despite the impressive camera-work, there’s this reality-show slant to modern-day documentaries that I just find distasteful. I understand that drama plays out in nature, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be Kelly slapping Gina over Franz every day, every time, with every particle in the moveable world.

Either way, with disappointment in the day’s end building around me, I threw some things to eat together and sat down to watch three hours of China’s brightest and vilest bodies of animals. Thanks to the addition of “story” they seem almost human! That’s three hours of television, bad in of itself, but then, there’s still all this holiday junk food lying around…; not to mention the unhealthy meal of canned vegetables and canned rice and beans (which is really only unhealthy in the sense that it’s been super-packed with extra salt and fat content to make it weigh more and taste “pleasant”).

(The aside – I found the canned rice and beans and was shocked to see it. For some reason, this was the first I had ever seen of a can of rice, so I had to try it. But why are there preservatives in canned stuff in the first place? If canning works, then what’s the need for that? For an indefinite shelf-life? Wouldn’t the vacuum-seal prohibit bacteria? Seems like it costs more to add something that shouldn’t be there in the first place.)

But the pot of canned food wasn’t satisfying enough and with the added sugar that’s in everything, too, I wanted more of that and the only source of sugar I have left in the house were expand-in-your-belly granola bars so I had a box of those, “trail mix” variety, though it’s really just raisins and peanuts. I made a sandwich, but while I waited for the bread to toast, I ate some salty crackers.

I doubt I learned anything from the nature documentaries. If I did, I was never able to engrave a memory of it while sleeping. I went to bed at 2:14am, but I was awake before 7:43am with a terrible backache. The belly is still full and pained at this hour and since the morning began so badly (and early!), I’ve already taken ~1000mgs of naproxen sodium, which will count towards my ibuprofen use before work.

Yesterday, I was so upbeat! It really made the whole day go by faster. I didn’t have any troubles outside of a few jolting urges to smoke; with the rocky end to the day, though, I can already see that today is going to have its set of troubles.

First, I am going to get moving! Yes, the morning is rough and yes, the back hurts and the belly is full and feels nauseous. Getting to the grocery store early (before all the zombies come out), I can distract myself by trying to frugally figure out a way to get fresh, light fare with chump-change… and also pretend that’s what I want to eat.

I know from my experiences with liquor that if I don’t have it in the house, I can’t abuse it. It makes sense, right? The problem is I can get junk food to eat; it would still take less time to go to the store and return than it would to make a complicated light meal. There’s almost no limit of any kind when it comes to the availability of that stuff.

If I used junk food for its intended purpose as a sweet reward for the midday, then there would be no problem. But, increased sensation and stimulation is what I’m really addicted to and there are any number of millions of things, devices, and especially metabolites that do that, even sugar. So I overeat things with sugar in them, which is just about everything.

I noted with horror last week that the grocery store stopped carrying the ONE cereal that had no sugar in it, the wheat puffs. Coincidently (it’s not), it was also cheap, one dollar for a 30oz bag (still a good amount of air in it, though) and packed with all the nutrition and fiber that puffing a kernel of wheat nets. I fell in love with this stuff during the Lenten season a few years ago and always kept a bag on hand. In its place there is now a sugary raisin and bran combo that is also quadruple the price at four dollars, though the bag weighs 2oz more (probably air, too).

So that’s depressing; that stuff was a healthy alternative to a box of granola bars and it required the same amount of “no effort” to eat. Could I have built a stable routine around that stuff in lieu of the sweet things? Yeah, I’m pretty convinced anyone can build a routine around anything, but it’s the interruptions in that routine that cause lapses back into the old ones.

I toyed with the idea of vegetarianism several times. It’s cheaper and I have to learn as I go, which is the first and only requirement for me to do anything. My sister is a successful vegetarian; it’s a popular lifestyle choice in society now that it can be broadcast around the “world.” Lest we forget that a great portion of the actual world already eats in this manner, due to cost, scarcity, or both.

It has the extra appeal that it will eventually become the expected norm of the vast majority of the world. It’s best to familiarize oneself with the habits, so that it’s not a shock when that time comes. Why? The same issues – cost, scarcity. There’s no amount of escape for the problem of dwindling surface area.

But, if I have no pre-made food of any kind in the house, I can’t eat it. I’m forced to cook, or not eat at all. My laziness will normally be enough to conquer the urge to run to the store for an 8oz bag of gummy bears and box of granola bars that most likely contain honey, sugar, and some kind of syrup.

Pessimism leads to psychic powers, so I believe I can accurately say that a one dollar bag of wheat puffs has a poor profit-margin. I’m sure it wasn’t very popular either; it was reminiscent of the first foods, a scary look into prehistory. I love it.

That tangent done, activity is what I need here. The brisk walk in the cold, standing baffled in the produce section for hours, these are the things that will occupy some of these negative hours.

It’s Friday; I know it’s going to be busy at work tonight, so I know that I’m going to have no energy when I return home. I’m probably going to end up in front of the television, but that doesn’t mean I can’t microwave some healthy, tasty thing that I made this afternoon before work.

It really is hard to strike up the motivation without the thought of drugs or other stimulants. They’ve been such a part of my life for such a long time that every activity echoes with the need to go back. There’s a lack of inspiration and that’s something that everyone needs, especially those going through personal changes.

Not everyone changes in their lifetime; the people attempting to do so are uncommon. The ones who appear successful are even rarer. I want to be one of those rare ones. I may not be unique or special but overcoming my Self can be the way that I stand out.

Or the passionately non-violent one-man protest for the return of the prehistoric wheat puffs.

Yours,

Justin Lehman

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